STEVE CARPENTER - Hutchinson CC Sports Information
HUTCHINSON, Kan. - Hutchinson Community College Men's Basketball Coach Steve Eck makes his first attempt at another milestone victory on Saturday as the Blue Dragons hit the road to face the second-leading scoring team in the NJCAA.
Hutchinson faces its first NJCAA-ranked opponent this season as the No. 12 Blue Dragons (13-2, 4-2 Jayhawk West) play at No. 20 Cowley (14-3, 6-1 Jayhawk East) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Scott Auditorium in Arkansas City.
The game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and on sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) beginning at 7:20 p.m. with Glen Grunwald (play-by-play) and Daren Dunn (analyst) calling the action. The game will be streamed live on the Blue Dragon Sports Network at 7:20 p.m.
Already the program's leader in coaching victories, Eck is one win shy of 300 wins on the Blue Dragon bench. Eck would become just the sixth Jayhawk Conference men's coach to win 300 games with one program. He would join Jay Herkelman (Coffeyville, Dennis Erkenbrack (Cloud County, Craig Fletchall (Barton, Mike Jeffers (Johnson County) and Randy Smithson (Butler County) in that exclusive club.
To reach that milestone on Saturday, the Blue Dragons will have to defend against a Cowley team that is averaging 110.1 points per game. The Tigers have scored 100 or more points 14 times this season with a high of 125, which came on Wednesday in a 125-10 win at Dodge City.
The Tigers shoot 33.5 percent from 3-point range, casting nearly 38 shots from distance per game, making 12.3 treys per contest. Cowley was 11 of 43 from distance on Wednesday at Dodge City.
That offensive juggernaut will put a Blue Dragon defense that regained its form on Wednesday to a test.
Hutch held an opponent to less than 70 points for the first time in eight games and limited Kansas City to 30.5 percent in a dominant 98-67 victory on Wednesday at the Sports Arena. That effort was on the heels of a defensive season-worst 50 percent allowed to Allen in an 87-80 loss last Saturday.
Using their fifth different starting lineup, the Blue Dragons shot 54.4 percent and sank nine 3-pointers against the Blue Devils. Tyler Brown, who hit four 3-pointers, and Saquan Singleton tied for team-high scoring honors with 18 points. Majok Kuath added 16 and Frankyn Batista added 10 off the bench. The Blue Dragons had 26 assists on 37 made baskets against KCK.
Saturday's game is the second in a stretch of five games in 11 days for the Blue Dragons. Hutchinson will return home to open Jayhawk West play on Monday against Northwest Tech before closing out the run with road games against Garden City and Pratt.
BLUE DRAGON MEN'S BASKETBALL
No. 12 Hutchinson (13-2, 4-2) at No. 20 Cowley (14-3, 6-1)
When: Saturday, January 11, 2020
Where: Scott Auditorium, Arkansas City, KS
Tipoff: 7:30 p.m.
Live Video: Blue Dragon Sports Network, 7:20 p.m.Twitter: @bluedragonsport